(Bronx, NY) –New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, Congressman Jose E. Serrano and New York City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson are publicly inviting Pope Francis to Yankee Stadium. In a full-page newspaper ad the officials are asking The Pontiff to conduct a mass at the new Stadium when he visits NYC in September. The last papal mass at Yankee Stadium was led by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 at the old Stadium.

“We have a new Pope, a new Stadium and a new hope for The Bronx and our city,” said Speaker Mark-Viverito.

“This is the 50th anniversary of the first-ever, papal visit to the United States,” Borough President Diaz said. “We are inviting Pope Francis to celebrate that historic event here, this fall,”

“It would be an honor to host the first Latin American Pope in the only New York district with a Latino majority,” said Congressman Serrano.

The ad, which will appear Friday, February 13, in The Bronx Times, is sponsored by the 161st Street BID. The ad features a picture of His Holiness, a public invitation and the signatures of government officials. (See attached)

“Papal visits to the Stadium are a great city tradition which we want to continue,” said Comptroller Stringer.

“The whole district is excited,” said the BID’s executive director, Dr. Cary Goodman.

“This community has hosted global leaders like Nelson Mandela, Rev. Billy Graham and three Popes,” Councilwoman Gibson noted. “We’d love to host Pope Francis, too.”